Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

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Frederick Stibbert was born in Florence in 1838. He was an eccentric antique collector, of most weapons and armours. If he had lived today, any doctor would have diagnosed him Diogenes syndrome. In spite of this, being of good lineage, albeit not being aristocratic, Stibbert prepared some rooms of his house to keep his collection, which would be ended up transforming the house in a real museum. After his death, the collection and the site were donated to the city of Florence, as Maria de’ Medici shortly did before the dynasty became extinct.…

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Chini Museum, the artistic heritage of Galileo Chini

Chini Museum, the artistic heritage of Galileo Chini

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Galileo Andrea Maria Chini (Firenze, 1873 – Firenze, 1956) was an Italian decorator, designer, painter, potter, and a prominent member of the Italian Art Nouveau movement or Stile Liberty. His theatrical labour includes sets designs for some Puccini’s operas. Thanks to his work in ceramics, he was awarded at the universal exhibitions in Brussels and St. Petersburg. At Chini Museum visitors can discover a permanent collection dedicated to the works and history of Galileo Chini and his family, as well as temporary exhibitions.…

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‘The Botany of Leonardo,’ exhibition at Santa Maria Novella Museum

‘The Botany of Leonardo,’ exhibition at Santa Maria Novella Museum

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On view until December 15 at Santa Maria Novella Museum, the exhibition The Botany of Leonardo. A vision of science bridging Art and Nature’ outlines the philosophical and technological context of the time in which Leonardo da Vinci lived in order to explore his study of form and the processes of the Plant world in greater depth. Through his eyes as a “systemic” thinker, the connections between art, science and nature, as well as the relationships between different spheres of knowledge, are revealed.  The botany of Leonardo thus becomes a privileged perspective that opens up a modern discourse on scientific evolution and ecological sustainability.…

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In Memoriam | Franco Zeffirelli Museum, seven decades of treasures

In Memoriam | Franco Zeffirelli Museum, seven decades of treasures

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The career of Franco Zeffirelli as cinema director, designer and producer of operas, theatre, cinema and Italian television has been honoured since October 2017 with a museum in the city centre, where the old Court of Florence used to seat. «The venue houses seventy years of treasures collected and made alive,» says the director’s son, Pippo Zeffirelli, executive vice president of the foundation managing the artist’s legacy. The museum houses more than 250 masterpieces by Zeffirelli among sketches, drawings, paintings, costumes and even the planning of a great project that never took place: the film adaptation of The Divine Comedy. The exhibition, divided chronologically into prose narrative, theatre, opera and cinema, reflects upon the development of theatrical installations and film productions, through themes and authors, together with fixed images, exemplifying all the main stages of the artistic career of Zeffirelli.
Franco Zeffirelli died on June 15, 2019, at the age of 96.
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Uncommon museums of Florence #3: Museo di Casa Martelli

Uncommon museums of Florence #3: Museo di Casa Martelli

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There is always an interesting spot to discover in Florence that keeps us away from the common repertoire, this is the case for the so-called Martelli’s House Museum. The Museo di Casa Martelli was a residential palace inhabited since the beginning of the 16th century by the bankers family Martelli. In 1986, Francesca Martelli, last family member living there, left the house to the Curia of Florence. In 1998, the Curia sold the palace to the Italian State and it became a museum in 2009. From that point on, the palace is a state civic museum that displays the remains of the Martelli family valuable art collection, as well as the house frescoes.…

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Uncommon museums of Florence #2: Stefano Bardini Museum

Uncommon museums of Florence #2: Stefano Bardini Museum

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Stefano Bardini (1854-1922) was a prominent Italian antiquary who decided to transform his collection into a museum and donate it to the city of Florence. The building, a magnificent palace eclectic in style, where the museum has its headquarters, was acquired and restored by Bardini in 1881, in order to be used for his antiquarian trade activity. The antiquary modified the structure adding new gates and stairs, used medieval and Renaissance stones, chimneys, in addition, he affixed painted coffered ceilings. Bardini transformed the old building — the former church and convent of San Gregorio della Pace — into a wonderful neo-Renaissance villa, where, besides the exhibition halls, there were workshops so that the pieces were restored before selling them.

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Uncommon Museums of Florence #1: Museum of Masonic Symbology

Uncommon Museums of Florence #1: Museum of Masonic Symbology

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Opened in March 2012, the Museum of Masonic Symbology was founded by Cristiano Franceschini in Florence as a private initiative with the aim to transmit to the brothers the evolution of different Masonic traditions over time. According to Franceschini, the museum is mostly visited by Brazilians, since there is a large number of Freemasons in that country. Moreover, for the broader secular public, the museum wants to make known the Masonic ideology, philosophy and ethics through the representation of symbols, on which these rituals are based. The collection on display includes ritual objects with etched, embroidered, applied, printed or engraved symbols. The first Italian masonic lodge, known as “The Lodge of the English-people” was created 1731 in Florence. The collection presented here comprehends more than ten thousand objects dated from the end of the eighteenth century and coming from around the world: dresses, aprons, belts, bottles, porcelain, pins, ties, stamps, photos, documents, books, glass slides or magic lanterns are part of the lot.
Museo di Simbologia Massonica – Via dell’Orto 7

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Giacomo Puccini Birthplace Museum in Lucca

Giacomo Puccini Birthplace Museum in Lucca

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Picturing the birthplace museum of some illustrious personage leads to stage it just as it was before his decease: an unfinished glass of wine, half-readings on the bedside table, projects still incomplete on the desk … Unfortunately, this is far from reality. Converting original houses into modern museums frequently leads to the disappearance of the original essence. Puccini Museum was first opened in 1979, but closed in 2004 due to restoration of the rooms original design and the recovery of the walls decoration. The Giacomo Puccini Birthplace Museum reopened in 2011 and is today managed by the Giacomo Puccini Foundation.
Puccini Museum – Corte San Lorenzo 9 55100 Lucca

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Fra Angelico’s frescoes: the treasure of the San Marco Museum

Fra Angelico’s frescoes: the treasure of the San Marco Museum

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This museum occupies an extensive area of the Dominican monastery of San Marco and still retains its original atmosphere. Founded in 1436 and designed by the architect Michelozzo, the monastery played an important role in the religious and cultural life of Florence. The fame of the museum is mainly due to the paintings of Beato Angelico (Blessed angelic one), one of the most representative painters of the Renaissance who embellished with its frescoes various rooms of the building, most remarkably the cells of the monks. A wonder to view also here:
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Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

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Vasari bought this garden house in Arezzo in 1541. In the last century some Tuscan artists turned the place into a small museum dedicated to Mannerism. This site is today an illustrious example of an artist’s house in which Giorgio Vasari, the first art historian of our era, celebrated his thoughts and his art. Its rooms are profusely decorated with frescoes and embellished with Mannerist paintings, revealing the supreme expression of 16th century Italian art. After completing his architectural works, Vasari dedicated himself to the pictorial decoration between 1542 and 1568, thus these rooms praise the artist’s role through biblical, mythological themes and numerous allegories to the astonishment of any visitor. The main rooms are substantially unchanged. The original furniture does not remain.
Casa Vasari – Via XX Settembre 55 – 52100 Arezzo

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